My life was filled with holes, holes that kept getting bigger. So big, I was in danger of falling through.
From the outside, it didn’t look that way. I was a senior in college. I’d been treasurer and president of my fraternity. I was managing editor of the college newspaper. Named to the national men’s leadership fraternity and Who’s Who. I had achieved all of the things I had set out to achieve my freshman year, and I had gone beyond that.
I had all the things I thought could fill the emptiness. But the holes were growing bigger.
I had sought and gained all the things my natural self wanted and needed – awards and recognition; honors and accolades. My natural self should have been more than satisfied. Instead, it craved more, and I didn’t have more. Nothing was left.
Except those holes.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis talks about the demands of the natural self: “Make no mistake: if you are really going to try to meet all the demands made on the natural self, it will not have enough left over to live on.”
What I learned – what several people helped me see – was that the natural self had to die. And I was being chased down for that to start happening. As Lewis says, “Christ says ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it.’”
Reading that in Mere Christianity is reading more than one chapter of my life story. The process that started in late January of 1973 in a college lecture hall didn’t turn me into a cult-like clone. Just the opposite began happening: I began to break free of what the culture and my natural self told me were “the good things in life.” I began to understand the holes for what they were. I began to see that the holes couldn’t be filled with what I had been filling them with.
I began to see that the holes were a fraud I had perpetrated upon myself.
Led by Jason Stayszsen and Sarah Salter, we’ve been discussing Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. To see more posts on this week’s chapter, “Is Christianity Hard or Easy,” please visit Jason at Connecting to Impact.